Systemic lupus erythematosus complicated by intestinal vasculitis and pneumatosis intestinalis

Gastrointestinal manifestations in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) are not uncommon. Non specific symptoms are often observed, such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. On the other hand, pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis, which is characterized by multiple gas-filled cysts located throughout the intestinal wall, is a rare condition in SLE. We describe a case of a 20-year-old man who was admitted with fever, weight loss, headache and arthralgia and had a diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus. During his hospital stay, he developed abdominal symptoms that suggested intestinal vasculitis. The computed tomography of the abdomen showed the double halo sign, or target sign and pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis. The patient presented complete recovery after conservative treatment, with intestinal rest and total parenteral nutrition.

systemic lupus erythematosus; vasculitis; pneumatosis cystoides intestinalis; gastrointestinal tract

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